Lawrenceville GA (February 24, 2014) – Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) announced today its plan for making up the seven days missed due to inclement weather in January and February. While the Georgia Board of Education has provided school districts flexibility in whether or not to make up these days, our school system historically has made up missed instructional time. With that in mind, school district leaders considered a variety of options that could address the lost instructional time. The district’s plan focuses on four criteria:
• The critical importance of maintaining 180 days of instruction.
• Making up the lost time in a manner that will have the most positive impact on instruction. (The best option would provide time within the current calendar prior to key assessments–CRCT, EOCTs, and AP exams– rather than adding days on to the end of the school year.)
• Devising a plan that would have the least impact on students, families, and employees.
• A desire to cause as little disruption as possible to the tentative graduation schedule.
With this in mind, the following changes will be made to the 2013-14 school calendar:
The school system will use its three built-in make-up days: February 17, March 14, and May 22.
The remaining four days will be made up by extending the school day by 30 minutes for 48 days. This means that all schools will dismiss a half-hour later than their regular time, from March 3 through May 14. The last day of school will be Thursday, May 22. (Adjustments will be made to the tentative graduation schedule with the caveat that additional changes could occur if more days are missed due to inclement weather. High schools will communicate those changes with seniors and their families.)
Regarding teacher workdays, teachers will work a required staff development day on Friday, May 23. School leaders will work with their teachers on making up the other two staff development days, ensuring they are completed prior to June 6.
CEO/Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks says, “The addition of 30 minutes to the school day during March, April, and early May will allow us to make up the equivalent of four instructional days in what is the least disruptive manner possible, as students and teachers already will be at school. The proposed plan is a logical, responsible one that we feel will best serve our students, teachers, and staff.”